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Australia Students got their tour up and running after last weeks 22-10 defeat to France Students with an 18-12 victory over the England Students at Blackheath RUFC, London.
The England Students coached by Paul Fletcher came back from 12-0 and 18-6 down to within six points of the visitors with only two minutes remaining but could not go over for a third converted try which would have seen them a draw.
Australia had a perfect triangle in loose forward Gerard Parle and half backs Ryan Smith and Tony Morris who both interchanged superbly at acting half back with hooker and captain Tony McFadyen.
England seemed overawed at times by the opposition but in the second half halfbacks Hugh Goodwin and Jon Nicholls showed up well and Jermaine Coleman showed good skills at loose forward.
The game was played hard and fair in the pack with England props Chris Akers and captain Chris Plume just edging it over their opposites Joel Attenborough and Jason Edmondstone.
In cool conditions the visitors scored through McFadyen following a penalty on the third tackle after eight minutes. After two drives from the pack he scooted over on an angle to score and Parle put over a magnificent conversion to make it 6-0.
England were playing one up drives at this stage completing sets of six, but there indiscipline let them down on and Parle kicked a penalty.
Five minutes from half time Morris who was running the show for Australia put a superb chip into the corner and winger Steve Corlon won the race to touch down in the corner but centre Ali Karouhche couldn?t add the extras and they went in 12-0 at the break.
In the second half England took the game to the tourists and were denied a try after 47 minutes for a pass called forward by the referee.
This came after a run-around move involving Nicholls and fullback George Bowes who touched down. This brought even greater resolve by England and they deservedly scored a converted try after 55 minutes.
Following a penalty, on the second tackle Nicholls changed direction of play and hooker Richard Hulme crashed over and second row forward Ben Joyce added the extras.
England continued to attack but let themselves down at times with impossible offloads, which were gobbled up by Australia.
England paid the price as a result on 65 minutes, when Smith crashed over from the play the ball following one of these mistakes with Parle adding the extras.
The visitors then had a further try disallowed for a forward pass when winger Saku went over after supporting Karouhche five minutes from time.
But three minutes later England substitute Andrew Ali scored the try of the game as he chipped over the defence, hacked the ball towards the line and as fullback Brett Spears fumbled with the Ball Ali picked it up to score and Joyce added the extras.
Try as they did in the closing minutes Australia ran just deserved winners from their earlier efforts which coach Murray Hurst described as an ?ugly win?.
Teams: England Students: 1. George Bowes, 2. Stuart McRenalds, 3. Matt Mulholland, 4. Ben Crammant, 5. Phil Murphy, 6. Hugh Goodwin, 7. Jon Nicholls, 8. Chris Akers, 9. Richard hulme, 10. Chris Plume ?, 11. Ben Joyce, 12. Scott Houston, 13. Jermaine Coleman, 14. Ryan Robinson, 15. Alex Clemie, 16. Andrew Ali, 17. Wayne Perilon.
Australia Students: 1. Brett Spears, 2. Steve Carlon, 3. Jordan Atkins, 4. Ali Karouhche, 5. Rata Suka, 6. Ryan Smith, 7. Tony Morris, 8. Joel Attenborough, 9. Tony McFadyen ?, 10. Jason Edmondstone, 11. Adam Baker, 12. Cade Sutherland, 13. Gerard Parle, 14, Matt McKinnon, 15. Mick Georgus, 16. Clint Lovering, 17. Mick Green.